President Donald Trump teased the crowd several times at his rally tonight at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, his first mass gathering since the infamous “send her back” rally in North Carolina in July. But he didn’t leave any openings for a repeat of the controversial chant.
Trump made his familiar promise that America would never be a socialist country, but avoided mentions of The Squad and Rep. Ilhan Omar, who was the focus of the “send her back” chants.
Instead, Trump meandered through a laundry list that focused on Ohio economics, sanctuary cities, and his recent passion, the state of US inner cities, a particular flash point after his attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings over the state of his Baltimore district.
The President spent most of his early speech on his Democratic rivals, noting that this week’s debates, “Spent more time attacking Barack Obama than they spent attacking me.” He called his rivals “the rage-filled Democrat party,” and attacked the “left-wing extremists who reject everything that we hold dear.”
As for the state of the cities, Trump blamed “stolen money, and it’s a shame. They’ve been led exclusively by Democrats, and look at ’em, we can name one after another, but I won’t, because I don’t want to be controversial. We want no controversy.” But he went on to say that “So many of these mayors, so many of them are in jail, that’s where they are.”
Trump called open borders “the greatest betrayal,” and thanked Mexico for its recent enforcement efforts. “I’m starting to like Mexico a lot,” Trump said. “They do a lot more for us than the Democrats do.”
Two sets of protesters interrupted Trump’s speech. According to the White House press pool, one group was holding a banner saying, “Immigrants Built America.” They stopped Trump’s speech for three minutes, during which their banner was ripped and they were escorted out. A later, undefined disturbance behind the president was less intrusive and Trump resumed speaking within a minute.
The only chanting on the evening came with a Trump reference to Hillary Clinton, sparking the familiar “Lock her up” yells. Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence had talked of the southern border, raising a chant of “Build The Wall.”
Trump also questioned California’s tactics. “What they are doing to our beautiful California is a disgrace,” he said, pointing to Los Angeles and San Francisco as examples. “You have a governor who invites the whole world, then you wonder why so many people are coming up. Who wouldn’t come up for free health care? How crazy is this?”
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